Arminian Today

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God Knows Your Heart In Evangelism

I have long argued that methodology is not what should drive us when it comes to evangelism.  It should be theology that drives us in evangelism.  If we believe the Word of God, we believe the command of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) and we truly believe that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6).  There is one God and one mediator between people and God and that is the Man, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  We believe that Jesus shed His blood for all people to be saved by His grace (Matthew 26:28; Mark 10:45; John 3:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 1 John 2:1-2).  We believe that God saves sinners from their sins by faith in Christ alone and that the blood of Jesus is the only thing that can cleanse us from sin (Hebrews 9:22, 27-28; 1 John 1:7).  We believe the promise of Romans 10:13.

That said, evangelism is not driven by our methods.  It is not about whether you do evangelism in the open air through preaching or one-on-one personal evangelism.  It is not about friendship or compassionate evangelism.  It is about the theology.  Do we believe that all people are lost without Christ (Matthew 7:13-14)? Do we believe that Jesus is truly the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12)?  Do we believe that all will stand before God when they die and give an account for their lives (Romans 14:10-11; Revelation 20:11-15)?  If so, we must preach the gospel to them (Romans 10:17).  People cannot believe in Him in whom they have not heard.  This is the point of Romans 10:14-17.  Faith comes by hearing the gospel.  The gospel saves (1 Corinthians 15:1-3).  The gospel is focused on Christ and His work on the cross.  The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was the message of the early Church in Acts and must be our message as well.  We must convinced as Paul the Apostle was in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Paul goes on to write in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21:

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What drives us then is that we are convinced of the truthfulness of Scripture and that God has promised to do what He said He would do in His Word.  God will save the lost as we preach the gospel to them.

Some, however, do seek to “evangelize” without sharing the gospel.  I have met people who say that they are seeking to make disciples through friendship evangelism but they never share their faith.  They never tell the person that they are going to hell or that they are lost without Christ.  They never speak of God’s law (Romans 7:7) or the fact that their good works will never produce salvation (Isaiah 64:6).  They simply are not taking God’s Word seriously and do not love the other person whom they claim they love.  If they did love them, they would share the gospel with them.

God sees our hearts.  He knows if we are truly seeking to make disciples or not.  Again, this is not about methodology.  This is about your theology.  God knows if you truly believe His Word.  He knows if you are building relationships or doing good works for the purpose of glorifying His name through the preaching of the gospel.  God sees your heart if you are passing out tracts because you want to exalt Christ or if you simply want to exalt yourself.  God knows and He judges our hearts.

I pray I share the gospel out of love for the Lord and the lost.  I am sure that I have shared my faith before out of pride but I pray that the Lord forgives me for those times (1 John 1:9).  I want to glorify the Lord in my evangelism and I pray that however you share the gospel, I pray that you too are seeking to make Him known and make Jesus great.  I am convinced that salvation is the greatest miracle of all and I am amazed that God would leave the message of the gospel in our hands.  Yet what a better way for people to tell of the love of God (Romans 5:8-9) than by pointing both to the Word of God and to their own testimony of His saving grace (1 Timothy 1:15).

May Jesus be exalted in evangelism!

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/06/2014 at 12:37 PM

7 Responses

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  1. Hey brother I always enjoy your emails. I wanted to ask you a question and wonder what you think, if you don’t mind. I am the Pastor of a Pentecostal Church that goes out about 40 weeks a year to evangelize our community around the church. Praise God people are being converted, baptized, and discipled! This is done through YWAM Prayer Station we purchased, tracts, one on one and open air at times. We have certainly by the grace of God made an impact on this community. Daily on my walks through the neighborhood I will minister to people one on one. In fact we just arrived from a food ministry out in Coney Island that we do daily.

    Here’s the issue. Many years ago a thought came to mind like “you should be standing on the corner you grew up on by yourself, street preaching.” That thought confused me and made me feel like if I don’t I have failed God. Well again I am feeling such a sense of confusion, guilt and so on as if God is displeased with me because I am not out on my old corner by myself preaching. In all candor I have had issues with Obsessive thoughts at times yet God has brought me a long way.

    I look at the Scripture and see Jesus sent them out by 2. Jesus sent them out and then went to their cities. This has actually worked me into a depression, thinking I could do all that other evangelism but I failed God here in this area. What do you say my brother? If you don’t mind helping a brother.

    Sincerely,

    James

    jpinto9405@aol.com

    06/06/2014 at 1:27 PM

  2. Hey brother I always enjoy your emails. I wanted to ask you a question and wonder what you think, if you don’t mind. I am the Pastor of a Pentecostal Church that goes out about 40 weeks a year to evangelize our community around the church. Praise God people are being converted, baptized, and discipled! This is done through YWAM Prayer Station we purchased, tracts, one on one and open air at times. We have certainly by the grace of God made an impact on this community. Daily on my walks through the neighborhood I will minister to people one on one. In fact we just arrived from a food ministry out in Coney Island that we do daily.

    Here’s the issue. Many years ago a thought came to mind like “you should be standing on the corner you grew up on by yourself, street preaching.” That thought confused me and made me feel like if I don’t I have failed God. Well again I am feeling such a sense of confusion, guilt and so on as if God is displeased with me because I am not out on my old corner by myself preaching. In all candor I have had issues with Obsessive thoughts at times yet God has brought me a long way.

    I look at the Scripture and see Jesus sent them out by 2. Jesus sent them out and then went to their cities. This has actually worked me into a depression, thinking I could do all that other evangelism but I failed God here in this area. What do you say my brother? If you don’t mind helping a brother.

    Sincerely,

    James

    James Pinto

    06/06/2014 at 3:44 PM

    • My dear brother I don’t believe you are failing God at all. After all, you are going out. Now again, God knows your heart and if you know that you are not truly sharing your faith, He knows this and sees this but condemnation is not from Him (Romans 8:1). God certainly will convict us (John 16:8-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17) but He does not condemn those in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:1-11). Salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7) and not through our works (John 6:29). We are not saved by witnessing or preaching or studying the Bible (John 5:39) but through Christ alone (John 6:37).

      That said, if you believe God is calling you to street preach, I would begin by going with a brother (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). You are right that Jesus sent His disciple out two-by-two and I believe this is very helpful in evangelism. I have been witnessing to a person before and my brother has been able to help me out of tough situations by having answers that I didn’t have for the person. Other times my brothers have had discernment from the Lord to not cast our pearls before swine by realizing that the person I was witnessing to was not interested at all in Christ or His gospel. Two-by-two evangelism is a very biblical method in my estimation.

      But again, condemnation over this is not from the Lord. Our salvation is contingent upon faith in Christ and His finished work alone and not us. It is not the cross plus my efforts. It is the cross alone that saves (Romans 1:16-17). When Jesus uttered, “It is finished” (John 19:30), it was finished. Jesus paid the price for our sins (Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7) and now we are justified before God through Him alone (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10; Hebrews 9:14).

      I hope that helps you my brother.

  3. […] God Knows Your Heart In Evangelism | Arminian Today http://arminiantoday.com/We believe that God saves sinners from their sins by faith in Christ alone and that the blood of Jesus is the only thing that can cleanse us from sin (Hebrews 9:22, 27-28; 1 John 1:7). We believe the promise of Romans 10:13. […]

  4. I’m enjoying your series.

    What drives me in evangelism is not so much my theology (though that is important). What drives me is the power of my encounter with the Amazing Grace of Jesus.

    I met Jesus when I was a teen, and the power of grace that has worked in my life is an undefinable mystery that propels me to share my faith with others. I’m speechless when I ponder the amazing awesomeness of grace.

    My knowledge of grace is theologically informed – I discovered I was a sinner after I started reading the bible, after I decided to follow Jesus. But my knowledge of grace also has an intangible experiential quality (with biblical boundaries) that makes me feel contagious – I want to share.


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